Author's Notes: I know I’m a more than a little late with this update. I’ve been busy! I mean I had schoolwork, then graduation testing, then exams, then...er...a boyfriend. Now I have Summer school but since it is Summer I should be speeding updates up soon. Please review. I hope I haven’t lost too many readers.
Chapter Sixteen - If I Could See Me Now
Blue eyes opened, fixing upon the ceiling lazily. He lie in confusion for several moments before realizing someone had woken him up “Hmm?” He raised two pale fingers, brushing the hair from his forehead then looked around.
“You’re awake,” Rinoa gave an approving smile, leaning down to kiss him.
It all came back to Squall then...Of course nothing had happened last night though they had shared the same bed...Then of course the funeral was today as well. Tensing slightly at the thought of never seeing Ellone again, Squall sat up only to be greeted by another kiss from Rinoa and an annoyed snort from across the room. Squall pulled away, looking two beds down to find Zell watching them. Selphie was still asleep at his side. Quickly he realized that the bed Seifer had been sleeping in was already made and its former occupant was nowhere to be found. He swallowed “Where’s Seifer?”
This question didn’t bode well with Rinoa but she hardly got a word in edgewise as Zell spoke up first “Hell if I know. He probably didn’t want to wake the two of you,” he threw Squall a meaningful glare, climbing from bed and gently waking Selphie.
A rush of guilt swept over Squall. It was obvious he had seen what was going on last night. Still dressed from the night before, the brunette slid from the bed, running to the door. He ignored the protests from Rinoa. At the moment he could care less as to what she thought.
Seifer sat on the outskirts of Winhill. He sat on a small area of rocks and grass, legs dangling over steep drop. It was still morning and the air around him cold and damp. The funeral was scheduled to begin in a few hours but he was still dressed in his signature black shirt and off-white coat. He’d left in a rush so his hair hadn’t received that much attention, now a bit disheveled by the early morning breeze.
So what if he doesn’t love you? No one ever said he would. You’re just getting soft. Three years ago you would of made fun of the loser sulking here like this. He sighed and shook his head. I’ve had plenty of girlfriends. None of them acted like this, Seifer groaned, leaning forward to stare of the edge of the drop in frustration with himself But I didn’t love them did I? Hyne! You’re such an idiot. You’ll never have him and getting down about it doesn’t do anyone any good. What if Fujin or Rajin could see you now?”
The hell? Seifer looked up to find Fujin running towards him, Rajin not far behind. Needless to say he was quite surprised...and beginning to ponder the likelihood of the brain developing a sixth psychic sense under extreme stress ...”What-”
Fujin dropped to her knees, wrapping arms around Seifer’s neck and nearly knocking him from the drop off in the process.
“Ah!” Seifer was balanced out as Rajin hugged him as well, only to be smacked away by Fujin who quickly straightened “It’s-ah-why are you guys here?”
The silver haired female took an important stance, feet together and hands clasped behind her back “FUNERAL,” she nodded to Seifer, then to Rajin to confirm this.
“Ellone died, ya know? We knew you guys grew up together and we figured you’d be here. She wasn’t a bad lady either, really nice, ya know?” Rajin moved to stand at Fujin’s side.
Seifer smirked, standing himself “You two hardly knew her.”
“Well, she was nice ya know?...We never did really meet her though...I came here to try and catch you. I figured Fujin came for the same thing, ya know?” he stumbled as Fujin gave him a swift, angered kick.
Seifer watched, laughing. He really had missed these two. He’d forgotten how great it felt just to be part of his old gang again. Fujin however quickly changed the subject.
“BLACK EYE?” She arched a brow, nodding to Seifer.
Rajin frowned “Whoa, someone messed you up. They must've been really tough to do that, ya know?”
Seifer shook his head quickly “It was back at the garden, got in a fight at the training center,” he shrugged, doing his best to smile once more “I guess magic just doesn’t heal some things that well.”
Rajin shrugged it off but Fujin didn’t seem so easily convinced. She shook her head. It was clear that she knew the difference between monster attacks and the human fist. She seemed about to object when a shout interrupted her.
The three looked back to see Squall several yards away. He forced his way between Rajin and Fujin, sliding to a stop in front of Seifer “I-where-you-” he paused a moment catching his breath and sorting out his words.
Rajin was about to greet him but Fujin quickly slapped a hand over the other’s mouth. She was too curious herself.
“What are you doing here?” Seifer looked the other over “It’s cold out, you could at least put on shoes before you chased after me.” No, he certainly didn’t sound too thrilled to see him here.
Squall swallowed, it was cold out. Perhaps it would have been wise if he had planned this out more thoroughly “I was ah-” he glanced about awkwardly, becoming aware of the other two’s presence “I was worried about you-”
“Mm,” Seifer rolled his eyes “Never would have guessed.”
“I’m serious!” Squall snapped somewhat angrily “Why can’t you just get pissed like everyone else instead of vanishing in the morning?”
Seifer glared at the shorter young man “So what? You want me to take a cue from how you handled things last night?” he shook his head in frustration, facing the other way and moving back towards the ledge.
There was another pause as Squall tried to respond. Words failed him for the moment but-”Seifer-” he approached the other once more, putting one hand on his shoulder as he forced Seifer to face him. Two fingers brushed over the black eye delicately.
Fujin raised an eyebrow. Well this was...new...She glanced to Rajin, curious as to what he thought of the situation...Rajin however was looking elsewhere. He had long since lost interest. She shook her head, speaking up regardless “RELATIONSHIP?” Rajin looked over curelessly, trying to pick up on what she had meant by that.
Squall tensed, glancing back to Fujin “Ah-” his breathing quickened slightly, a change that Seifer soon noticed. He looked to his friends and was about to shake his head when- “I hope so,” Squall looked back to Seifer with a weak smile. He bowed his head quickly, hands going to his sides, One hand lingered close to Seifer’s left side, longing for the other to take it.
Seifer looked from his friends to Squall. Did it not matter that they were present? “Squall-” he began but the other took Seifer’s hand himself, pulling the blond down so that he could kiss him.
Fujin smiled, shaking her head...Rajin however... “W-what’s going on?”
Squall merely smiled, raising an arm and wrapping it around Seifer’s neck. His expression became a bit more serious after a moment “I wanted to tell you I was sorry-”
“So if you don’t mind these guys knowing does that count for-” Seifer allowed his words to trail off as he found the smaller man shying away “I guess not-”
“No-” Squall met the other’s jade green eyes almost desperately, praying that they weren’t angry “I mean...just give me time...”
“Hyne,” Seifer released Squall, turning his back to him as he moved closer to the ledge “I’ve given you enough fucking time already. I’m sick of waiting for an answer...I’d expect this from anyone else...not you Squall.”
Squall felt a pang of guilt shoot through him “Seifer...I’m sorry...” he didn’t dare edge closer though something within willed him to.
“Yeah, you’ve been apologizing a lot lately,” he would have said something more but the sound of someone approaching caused him to fall into silence. This was just as well. He felt sick, not much like forming words right now.
“Squall! There you are,” it was Laguna’s voice and Squall immediately turned to face his father. The older man came to a stop just before Fujin and Rajin, giving the two a look over before speaking to his son “The funeral is going to be postponed for a while. At least until tonight. Thought I’d give you the heads up-”
Squall nodded weakly, now for a combination of reasons “All right. Is there a reason?”
“Ah-” Laguna moved a bit closer to his son, speaking softly “Balamb seems to have called ahead. There are some doctors wanting to do an autopsy or something,” he tried to keep his words casual but it was clear that he wasn’t terribly fond of the idea.
“What!” Squall wasn’t in any condition to keep his emotions in check right now but he managed to lower his voice “Isn’t it obvious how she...died...”
Laguna winced “They just want to see if they can find anything that might help. I’m not thrilled either but if there’s some chance they can find out what did this and how to stop it then it’s for the best. Now I have to go make the arrangements to postpone all of this...so...” he gave his son a quick hug before nodding to the other three present and hurrying off.
“Hey, Squall-” Rajin was cut off once more by a quick from Fujin. An eye cut to Seifer as she tried to make out his response to all of this. He was still standing on the ledge with his back to the younger man. He hadn’t moved whatsoever and Fujin’s cool expression changed to a frown.
Squall tried to calm himself but this did little good at the moment he was almost a nervous wreck. This had all indirectly been his fault. If he hadn’t treated Seifer as he had then he wouldn’t be so angry right now, Ellone wouldn’t have stayed behind that night, and now they wouldn’t be...he couldn’t bring himself to think of what was being done to his sister right now...
“Gonna be all right?”
The brunette raised his head at a touch to his shoulder and opened his eyes to find “Seifer?”
“Don’t sound so surprised-” Seifer grumbled, wiping the other’s tears away with a sigh “I’m not such an asshole. Don’t get me wrong, I’m angry...you just never leave me with a convenient time to act that way...”
“Don’t give me that-“ The taller man quickly took Squall’s hand and began to walk towards the airship with an air of annoyance “Let’s just go. You can get some warmer clothes then we can...I dunno...take a walk or something.”
Squall couldn’t help but smile “Thank you Se-”
“Ah-” he was cut off by his companion who had come to a stop before Fujin and Rajin “You two are staying for the funeral, right?”
Rajin nodded meekly, an mindless expression extreme for even him. Currently his seemingly inhumanly small mind was playing host to matters of higher importance.
“Good-” without another word Seifer marched onwards reluctantly, pulling Squall along.
Fujin smiled, pale fingertips going to her lips to suppress a girlish giggle “Cute couple-”
Rajin looked over to the female at his side with a grin “Hey Fuj, I didn’t know you could be feminine, ya know?”
The silver-haired females’ smiled faded into its normal scowl and without hesitation she gave her friend an unusually sharp kick to the shins for old time’s sake.
A/N: Short chapter, sorry. I just wanted to get this one out as quickly as possible. I promise you a long, quality chapter with my next update. Please don’t be too hard on me. I promise things are going to pick up quickly. EH is past its halfway mark and happy anniversary to me! I’ve been working on this thing for nearly if not over a year. Has it been that long already? I get the feeling I’ve been wasting some serious time.
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